Usually it’s lattice boom crawler cranes getting recognized when it comes to wind turbine installation, thanks to their boom lengths, considerable counterweight, and turbine strength. All of this power is needed to lift the many heavy components of a wind turbine. However, even before a lattice boom crawler crane can make it to the location where the turbine is to be assembled, heavier-duty, tougher machines are needed to haul the parts in place. That’s where the Terex RT 100US came in when IEA Constructors, Inc. needed it.

Constructing the Upstream Wind Energy Center

On rent from RTL Equipment, the Terex RT 100US was brought in to take on a project just north of Neligh, Nebraska. Eighty-one 2.5 megawatt (MW) General Electric wind turbines make up the Upstream Wind Energy Center and are in place to produce 202.5 MW of energy. That’s enough energy to supply every household in Neligh and several in the surrounding area with power.

Rough Terrain Cranes: Unsung Heroes of Wind Farms

First things first: ground preparation must take place before the turbines can get to work for the community. Rough terrain cranes were brought in to do the heaviest lifting, including laying the rebar and steel cages for the bases before concrete could be poured. This is incredibly important work and must be done correctly the first time, so that each turbine is able to withstand high winds and harsh weather, as well as the force generated by the blades themselves.

RT 100US Boasts Automatic and Manual Transmission

Crane Assembly/Disassembly Director, Roger Galloway was impressed with the RT 100’s ability to work in a tight space, while carrying out its heavy-lifting duties. “The RT 100US crane has a small footprint, which means less ground prep work and less money spent on site preparation.” Plus, manual drive is available as well as automatic, which allows the operator to have that much more control. When using automatic, the crane swiftly drives to and from tower sites. Craner operators appreciate the manual transmission when the terrain is especially difficult.

Timelines Respected with Terex

Not only did the RT 100US need to be strong enough to handle such a precise and important job, it had to do so within a strict timeline. Rebar installation mustn’t take longer than six hours and the crane had to place reinforcing rebar panels, which weighed up to 7,000 pounds each. Mike Hedrick, the crane operator on the job, said, “A typical base construction job requires roughly 25 to 30 picks to place the material. The Terex crane allows me to efficiently move the rebar panels into place and adjust the boom from 40 to 100 feet, depending on where they are needed.”

Integrating the Demag IC-1 Control System

An impressive 13,000-pound bolt cage filled with concrete sits in the middle of the rebar, creating a secure base. Thanks to the Demag IC-1 control system integration (new to the Terex RT 100US), the operator had full control. Hendrick could control the dial-down swing function and valve speeds.This allowed him to gain more accuracy, thus saving the entire project time. Galloway added that the RT 100US was actually the better choice over a 130US capacity class crane when it came time to place the cage.

Operator Settings

A bonus of the IC-1 control system is that it allows multiple opeto choose their settings. This, again, cuts down on operating time. When a new operator arrives to relieve the previous operator, they can simply choose their pre-set preferences.

Saving Time with the RT 100US

On this particular job, there were four cranes on hand and many times, one crane needs to return to the site to complete a turbine tower base. That means taking the time to prep and load a crane, transport it back to the site, unload it, and prepare it for work. With the RT 100US, it’s tough enough to withstand transportation without issue, so it can get right back to work on the project, minimizing downtime.

Buying or Renting Rough Terrain Cranes from RTL Equipment

It goes without saying we were pleased with how well the Terex RT 100US handled the extensive job IEA Constructors needed. However, we aren’t surprised. Terex has been on the leading edge of crane innovations for years. That’s why they’re one of the brands we’re proud to offer both for sale and rent. Our professional sales staff is on hand and ready to discuss which machines would work best for you and your next job.